Caloosa Winnies of South Florida


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WIT Club Chapter of Excellence 1996-2016


GNR 2007

The month of July was a fun time for the Caloosa Winnies as we had a total of 8 coaches traveling to GNR! Since we were all coming from different areas, the following members met at Worlds of Fun RV Park on July 8th at Kansas City, MO to caravan to Forest City, Cathy & Al Goebel, Kathryn Griffin, Jack & Lorene MacGregor, Jerry & Nancy Miller, and Barbara Wood. The next day we traveled to Clear Lake, Iowa and met members Bill & Janet Burbage and Jack & Ceil Hanna. We arrived at Forest City on July 10th, and were soon parked in the Florida Row. Bud & Paula Geng were already on the grounds and soon came by to see us. The best part of GNR is meeting WIT friends from all over the country, as well as the WIT staff. Our group settled in and had an impromptu pot luck dinner between MacGregor’s and Hanna’s coaches. The weather was really cool that first week which was a real plus – to not run the A/C! Linda and Dan Tuzzolo, Winnie Gators Presidents, parked at the head of the row and set up a tent and provided free coffee and juice which was a nice treat!

Thursday some of us went on the Pre Rally Tour of Heritage Park and really enjoyed it with the local people telling us the history of the village. Part of the tour included a bus trip to a local winery which was really fun, including the free samples!  The next few days we enjoyed going out to dinner at Branding Iron Restaurant, pitching in for another Potluck Dinner among our members and inviting others in our row to bring a dish and join in with us and many did that! With all the fun events going on in Forest City as the residents held dinners, ice cream socials, pie socials, barbecues, craft booths, we took full advantage of the activities in support of all their efforts. I was very fortunate to be the winner of a beautiful handmade quilt at a raffle held at St. James Church!

Saturday was the traditional Puckerbrush Parade in Forest City and the Caloosas were there to enjoy the floats, bands, fire trucks, and the 3M group who threw us a new supply of free sponges! We stayed for the barbecue that followed and walked around the square to buy some things at the craft booths. Before we knew it, the official GNR week was underway!

Sunday was opening ceremonies with all states represented in a parade of flags and state officers. We applauded LOUDLY when Linda and Dan paraded in front of us with the Florida flag! It was great to see the grandstand and floor area filled with WIT members! Monday morning was the Beanbag Baseball Tournament. Florida was well represented as many of our members volunteered to be on the team! We lost to our friends from New York, but we really had a lot of fun! Seminars, vendors, crafts, WIT Store, new coaches, so much to see and do! Late Monday the weather turned stormy and we all scattered for cover. Unfortunately, the evening entertainment had to be cancelled for safety reasons.

Tuesday was more activity with the state row parties held beginning in the afternoon. Of course the weather was hot, but Dan & Linda and their crew put on a GREAT meal and our end of row was as full as it could be with attendees!! We were happy to have so many WIT friends join in with us. The WIT staff arranged for a tractor pulled flatbed truck with a dixieland band performing while driving up and down the rows! It was such a fun thing to watch – a highlight of the row parties!  Of course the Caloosa members had to visit other state friends so we got our fill of ice cream, drinks, pizza, and snacks.

The rest of the week was full of activity, great entertainment including The Brett Family and the 50’s At The Hop group. Many of our group took special tours of the factory and what a treat to watch these dedicated folks actually make new coaches! Thanks to all the seminars and vendors, we all got more information to help us make decisions on how to take care of our coach and what new things are available for purchase.

Another highlight for Jerry and me was attending the special evening social hour, dinner and entertainment with the other chapter presidents from all over the country. WIT really did a superb job arranging this evening and we throughly enjoyed it. The entertainment was awesome – a barbershop quartet who sang many original songs and added comedy, including one song we really loved – a humorous story about traveling across Iowa and seeing corn, corn corn!  THANKS again to the WIT staff and area reps who worked hard to make this a special evening!

All too soon it was Friday and closing ceremonies. and we all had to go our separate ways. The time spent with our members was really great, and also the opportunity to meet and make new friends from Florida was so special! For anyone who has not attended GNR, you don’t know what you’re missing!

We were delighted to have Paul Revell rejoin the Caloosas during GNR! Paul was a member back in the 90’s and is now enjoying his View coach and was parked on our row at GNR! GREAT to have you with us again, Paul!

The Caloosa Winnies will soon be starting our monthly campouts this fall, and we invite ANYONE traveling or living in our area – PLEASE come and join us! We love visitors, so check our schedule in Who’s Inviting Travelers and come on down!

Nancy Miller